After missing out on the Professional Fighters League finals last season, Chris Wade is looking to punch his ticket back to the playoffs.
The PFL announced Monday that Wade (15-5) will meet No. 1 lightweight seed Akhmed Aliev (18-4) in the main event of PFL 16 on July 25 at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and PFL 2018 featherweight champion Lance Palmer (18-3) will fight Luis Rafael Laurentino (34-1) in the co-main event.
Newsday was first to report the bouts.
The results of PFL 16 will determine which eight fighters in the lightweight and featherweight division’s advance to the postseason.
In last year’s lightweight semifinals, Wade lost a close split decision to eventual champion Natan Schulte. It was the second decision that Wade dropped to Schulte as the Brazilian also outpointed him unanimously at PFL 2. Wade opened up his 2019 PFL campaign with a unanimous decision win over Nate Andrews.
Aliev impressed in his PFL debut this past May, defeating Carlao Silva by first-round TKO to earn six points and the top spot in the standings. The 29-year-old Russian has won his last eight fights.
Palmer went unbeaten in the 2018 season to win the featherweight tournament and a $1,000,000 prize. He defeated Alex Gilpin by unanimous decision in the PFL season opener and has won seven straight fights.
However, it’s Laurentino who currently sits atop the featherweight rankings alongside Movlid Khaybulaev. Laurentino boosted his impressive record to 34-1 in his PFL debut by knocking out UFC veteran Jeremy Kennedy in just 23 seconds. The win earned Laurentino six points.
Other notable fighters competing at PFL 16 will be Schulte (16-3-1), former UFC standout Rashid Magomedov (23-3-1), and former PFL champion Andre Harrison (21-1).
PFL 16 will air live on ESPN2, with the prelims available on the ESPN+ streaming service.
See the updated card below:
Lightweight: Chris Wade vs. Akhmed Aliev
Featherweight: Lance Palmer vs. Luis Rafael Laurentino
Lightweight: Rashid Magomedov vs. Nate Andrews
Featherweight: Gadzhi Rabadanov vs. TBD
Lightweight: Natan Schulte vs. Ramsey Nijem
Featherweight: Andre Harrison vs. Movlid Khaybulaev
Lightweight: Islam Mamedov vs. Bao Yincang
Lightweight: Loik Radzhabov vs. Ylies Djiroun
Featherweight: Alex Gilpin vs. TBD
Lightweight: Carlao Silva vs. Jesse Ronson
Featherweight: Alexandre Almeida vs. Peter Petties
Featherweight: Steven Siler vs. Jeremy Kennedy